Sibylla Palmifera

sybilla-small.jpgFor this week’s poem, I have chosen Rossetti’s Sibylla Palmifera. I usually include external links at the end of posts, but I don’t want this to be overlooked:

On this page at Liverpool Museums , you can view an actual X-Ray of Rossetti’s painting Sibylla Palmifera. (Rossetti Exhibition Home)

Rossetti, Religion, and Women: Spirituality Through Feminine Beauty

Overview at the Rosetti Archive

And now for this week’s poetry selection:

Sibylla Palmifera
by: Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828 – 1882)

Under the arch of Life, where love and death,
Terror and mystery, guard her shrine, I saw
Beauty enthroned; and though her gaze struck awe,
I drew it in as simply as my breath.
Hers are the eyes which, over and beneath,
The sky and sea bend on thee, -which can draw,
By sea or sky or woman, to one law,
The allotted bondman of her palm and wreath.
This is that Lady Beauty, in whose praise
Thy voice and hand shake still, -long known to thee
By flying hair and fluttering hem, -the beat
Following her daily of thy heart and feet,
How passionately and irretrievably,
In what fond flight, how many ways and days!

And for more on Sibylla Palmifera:

Overview and Info at Art History at Loggia (QUOTE FROM SITE: “Sibylla Palmifera is also an example of one of Rossetti’s primary artistic obsessions – depicting the beautiful woman that so haunted his imagination.“)

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3 Replies to “Sibylla Palmifera”

  1. Such a lovely painting. I love the way Rossetti’s idealizes the exotic in his works.Funny how she’s “Sibyl of the Palm” and you can hardly see the palm!(I think it’s a bit larger in the original). Thanks for sharing the links! The x-ray was really neat–it’s interesting to see where Rossetti may have painted over his mistakes, etc…

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